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Wollongong Harbour is situated on the south coast of NSW and is an iconic feature of the Wollongong City foreshore with significant heritage value.

Construction of the harbour began in 1837 and involved 300 convicts who were directed to dig a protective basin in the solid stone at the foreshore and to construct a pier on the northern side of the basin. In 1856 a second pier was built and in 1886 workers deepened the old basin and built a breakwater for protection of the outer harbour.

Wollongong Harbour was the first port in the Illawarra and is the oldest and most intact extant block walled harbour in NSW.

The Breakwater lighthouse was built in 1872 and is one of the early lighthouses of NSW and one of only two wrought iron lighthouses in NSW, designed by the same engineer, Joseph Mather of Sydney.

Since its construction in the 19th century, the harbour and surrounding area has been progressively developed up until recent times to cater for the changing uses of the harbour. From a coal port to a commercial fishing and recreational port in more recent years.

The character of the harbour has been maintained with activities such as the breakwater lighthouse refurbishments in 1999 and the Brighton Lawn upgrades in 2008.

The harbour is recognised as an essential part of Wollongong’s history as it was the focus of the towns commercial, administrative, judicial and social activities from the early 19th century until well into the 20th century.

Heritage conservation management

The Heritage Council of NSW recognised the significance of Wollongong Harbour by listing the Wollongong Harbour Precinct as a place of State Significance on the State Heritage Register

The listing gives a special status to the harbour and makes the Heritage Council a joint approval body for any new works within the precinct. The Heritage Council in determining the state listing also acknowledged that limited sympathetic development could occur within the precinct.

Following the inclusion on the NSW Heritage Register in May 2010, the department commissioned the preparation of a Conservation Management Strategy (PDF, 9MB) to guide the future conservation and ongoing use of the Wollongong Harbour Foreshore Area which is part of the larger Wollongong Harbour Precinct.

Wollongong Harbour master plan

The Department of Industry, Crown Lands and Water is working with Wollongong City Council to develop a master plan for the harbour precinct.

The purpose of the master plan is to identify opportunities within Wollongong Harbour consistent with its heritage significance, Crown land reservation for port facilities and services, and the working waterfront zoning under the Wollongong Local Environmental Plan (2009).

An important part of the process is to understand your views of the area, how it’s currently being used and how it will be used in the future.

Have your say

You can have your say online or stop by our pop-up information stall on:

Saturday 28 October

6am to 11am Brighton Lawn (Wollongong Harbour)

6am to 11am Cliff Road Boulevard (In front of The Baths)

6am to 11am Wollongong Surf Club (public space outside)

Monday 30 October

6am to 10am City Beach (W.Lang Park)

10am to 2pm Crown Street Mall (City)

Your involvement and feedback are an important first steps in understanding how you use the harbour and how it can be best developed for the future.

The online survey will be open up until 5pm Monday 13 November.

For further information about the project call 0438 728 315.

Harbour features

The harbour has retained most of its original features and is maintained as a reminder of our maritime heritage. Historic features within the harbour include the breakwater lighthouse (c1871), the block walled harbour, curved basin and central pier, bollards and mooring rings that make up Belmore basin, pilots slipway, T Jetty crane pedestal (c1880) and the rubble mound breakwaters that make up the outer harbour.

Other features include restaurant/café, visitor berths, slipway and boat maintenance area, boat ramp and parking.

The harbour has linkages to Flagstaff Hill, Belmore Beach and Wollongong CBD.


For berths, tenures and development opportunities please contact us.

Casual berths

Wollongong Fishermans Cooperative - M: 0431 174 777

Roads and Maritime (Port Kembla) - T: 02 4274 7914

Marine Rescue NSW (Port Kembla) - T: 02 4274 4455



Commercial fishing - unloading & berthing Yes
Charter vessels Yes
Recreational & visitors berthing Yes
Slipway & boat maintenance No
Car park Yes
Vessel sewage pumpout No
Fuel - diesel No
Waste oil collection & storage No
Water & electricity Yes
Boat launching ramp & car park Yes
Public toilets Nearby
Fresh fish outlet No
Retail food & beverage Yes